Minimal invasiveness and effectivity of subinguinal microscopic varicocelectomy: A comparative study with retroperitoneal high and laparoscopic approaches

Masami Watanabe, Atsushi Nagai, Norihiro Kusumi, Hiromu Tsuboi, Yasutomo Nasu, Hiromi Kumon

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The standard management of varicocele repair is the subject of ongoing controversy. We retrospectively evaluated three surgical methods of varicocele treatment to determine the minimally invasive and most effective procedure. Methods: We performed 144 varicocelectomies on infertile patients with left clinical varicocele. Of the patients, 50 were treated with retroperitoneal high ligation under lumbar anesthesia, 33 with laparoscopic ligation under general anesthesia, and 61 with subinguinal microscopic ligation under local anesthesia. Operative time, hospital days, and clinical outcomes were compared between these techniques. Results: The operating time and hospitalization period required for subinguinal microscopic ligation was significantly shorter compared to those for the other procedures. All patients treated with subinguinal microscopic ligation could achieve normal activity as soon as they returned to their rooms. Postoperative complications were observed in five (10.0%) cases treated with high ligation and three (9.1%) laparoscopic cases, but were not observed after the subinguinal procedure. There were six cases (12.0%) of recurrence in the high ligation group and six (6.1%) in the laparoscopic group, but none in the subinguinal group. Sperm density was significantly improved in all procedures postoperatively, but sperm motility was not improved. The two-year pregnancy rate calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method was 35.8% for high ligation, 40.4% for laparoscopic ligation and 50.9% for subinguinal microscopic ligation, although there were no statistical differences between the three groups. Conclusion: We concluded that subinguinal microscopic varicocelectomy could be a minimally invasive procedure compared to the other two techniques and a worthy method for treating male infertility due to clinical varicocele.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-898
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005



  • Male infertility
  • Microscopic surgery
  • Pregnancy outcome
  • Varicocele
  • Varicocelectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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